UK: Israeli Offensive Appropriate; "We Expect Results" from PA

(Jerusalem Post) Herb Keinon - Israel's response to the recent Kassam rocket attacks on Sderot has been measured and appropriate, Kim Howells, Britain's Minister of State for the Middle East, said Wednesday. "The world will understand [Israelis] are trying to defend their citizens, which after all is the primary responsibility of any government," he said. Howells, on a visit to the region, hinted that financial aid to the PA might be withheld if it did not seriously begin tackling the terrorism in its midst. "The Palestinians are receiving more aid per capita than any other people on the face of the earth, and we want to see some proper response," he said. "We have already pledged an enormous amount of aid here, but I certainly want to make clear that this is not limitless and we expect results." "Sooner or later [the Palestinians] have to take a tough decision and start disarming the armed factions within Gaza and the West Bank. If they don't, how can the rest of the world have any confidence in their ability to bring good governance to these areas?" Howells dismissed PA claims that it doesn't have the wherewithal to effectively take on Hamas. "Look, they have 60,000 troops in the PA, they have all the equipment they need. What they need is the political will to do it," he said.

2005-09-30 00:00:00

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